|Birth: ||Aug. 25, 1919|
West Virginia, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 23, 2011|
Dr. James M. Hefner, 91, of Green Valley, passed away in his home on March 23, 2011.
He was born Aug. 25, 1919, in Gassaway, W.Va., to James and Ina Mollahan Hefner.
He is a survivor of World War II and practiced dentistry.
He graduated from Gassaway High School where he played the coronet, football and was the captain of the basketball team.
He joined the United States Navy in 1939 and went through boot camp in Norfolk, Va. He graduated hospital corps school as an honors student and was assigned to Norfolk Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Va. Next he was assigned to Quantico, Va., and on to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Then he was assigned as a corpsman to the Marine Corps for three years: 1st Marine Division, M Company, 3rd Battalion and 7th Marines. Subsequently he went to Paris Island, S.C., and to New River, (later Camp Lejeune) N.C. He was there on Pearl Harbor Day.
He sailed from San Diego for Samoa, then to Wallis Island and landed in the Solomon Islands on Guadalcanal Sept. 18, 1942. He was wounded by enemy gunfire and was awarded the Purple Heart. He was evacuated to Espiritu Santo, then New Zealand and finally to Australia. After recuperating, he rejoined his unit in Melbourne.
After three years in the Marine Corps, he was ordered back to the states and was assigned to Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland. He requested submarine duty and was sent to Submarine School in New London, Conn., in March 1944. After submarine school, he was assigned to Panama and served there until 1945. He obtained the rank of Pharmacist's Mate, 1st Class. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years and was honorably discharged Oct. 25, 1945.
He attended West Virginia University, Morgantown and Wisconsin University in Milwaukee. Starting in September 1948, he attended Northwestern University in Chicago and in an accelerated program graduated with a doctorate of dental surgery (DDS) on Sept. 8, 1951.
He first practiced in Klamath Falls, Ore., then in Aptos (near Santa Cruz). He was associated with Dr. J.C. Campbell in Burlingame, Oakland and then in Vallejo.
He enjoyed off-road motorcycle riding and joined the Oakland Motorcycle Club, where he gained the nickname Doc Hefner.
In 1970, he married Audrey Rands Merritt. The wedding at her parents' home in Florida was attended by his two and her three teenagers.
He is survived by his wife; his daughter, Lynee Hefner Boyer Rodriguez of Ft. Myers, Fla.; and his son, Charles James Hefner of Las Vegas. Also surviving are Donna Lee Merritt Burns of Babson Park, Fla., Douglas Rands Merritt of San Jose and Frances Merritt Nash of Newark. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Aged 91 years.
Created by: Grave Finder
Record added: Mar 26, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67468126